“Your Faith Has Saved You”
In this beautiful homily for 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Father Hanly shows us that what is important is to give your life in faith and trust and love to God.
Readings for Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
- First Reading: Second Samuel 12:7-10, 13
- Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 32:1-2, 5, 7, 11
- Second Reading: Galatians 2:16, 19-21
- Gospel: Luke 7:36-8:3 or 7:36-50
(Apologies. Beginning of homily missing.)
… even though he knows that among his own group he will be vilified.
And Jesus says to him, he says with great kindness, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
And Simon says, “Yes, Rabbi.” Rabbi is a title of respect. “Yes, Lord. Yes, Rabbi.”
And then he tells him the story. He says, “If a man had two debtors, and one owed him a vast amount of money and the other one just a small amount of money, and the debtor forgave both of them, which one would love him more?”
“Why,” Simon said, “I think it would probably be the one who owed him the most.”
And Jesus says, “You have answered correctly.”
And then there’s a very interesting sentence in here. Remember they’re sitting down, and the woman is in the back, and Jesus, instead of saying this to Simon, now picture this, instead of saying these words to Simon, the gospel says, he turned and he looked at the woman.
So now you have Jesus looking at the woman and Simon listening and this is what Jesus says:
Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon,
“Do you see this woman?
When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet,
but she has bathed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair.
You did not give me a kiss,
but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered.
You did not anoint my head with oil,
but she anointed my feet with ointment.
So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven;
hence, she has shown great love.”
He is saying this to the woman and he’s saying it to Simon as they both look upon this woman.
“But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.”
He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
He’s reminding her that it is not because she is repentant. It is because of God’s gracious love for her and this beautiful gesture that God had always forgiven her and now she knows it from the lips of someone she has come now to know as the Son of God.
And then he says to the woman this phrase,
“Your faith has saved you.”
“Your faith has healed you. Your faith has cured you.”
Because probably she was going down a road that would only end in desperation and despair. But Jesus, seeing her, called her to him and she herself gave her whole heart and her whole soul into his hands.
And it is that what makes her so important, not because she’s sorry for her sins but because she gives her life in faith and trust and love and expresses it in such a delicate and wonderful way to Jesus who has come to forgive all of us, all of us, our sins. Because only God, as they say, only God can forgive sins. And Jesus is His Son.
The last word on this, of course, is you’re supposed to begin to look a little different at the Pharisee.
Remember, the Pharisees were defending what they felt was vital and true and passed down for centuries: the holiness of the law.
And Jesus was telling, in this story and with this woman, that you can believe in the whole law, keep the whole law, but you have to have love.
And if you loved, then the law would be fulfilled in your own heart.